Victor Co. of Japan is expected to report a net loss of 2 billion yen for fiscal 2004 after being battered by weak sales in Europe, company officials said Thursday.

Victor had previously forecast a 4 billion yen net profit for the year. The last time it posted a net loss was fiscal 2001.

The consumer electronics company, 52 percent owned by industry giant Matsushita Electronic Industrial Co., said it now expects sales of 840 billion yen for the year, down from the earlier projected 905 billion yen.

Victor blamed the poor performance on its main market Europe, where it suffered weak sales of camcorders and home theater systems, the latter of which was challenged by more competitive generic manufacturers.

“We had a tough period in Europe,” Victor Managing Director Yukihiro Tanii acknowledged at a news conference. But “in the United States, we began seeing positive year-on-year growth in the fourth quarter.”

In contrast, the firm enjoyed relatively solid results in Japan, where sales of liquid crystal panel TVs and DVD recorders were brisk, company officials said.

Still, the company said it has not been immune to rapid price falls, noting that prices of camcorders have dropped by about 25 percent compared with a year earlier.

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